Tuesday 29 September, 2020

PHOTOS: Kingston's 25 most iconic landmarks

The Ward Theatre in downtown KIngston. All the landmarks, except Kingston Parish Church, King's House and the Holy Trinity Cathedral, were photographed by Loop News' Marlon Reid.

The Ward Theatre in downtown KIngston. All the landmarks, except Kingston Parish Church, King's House and the Holy Trinity Cathedral, were photographed by Loop News' Marlon Reid.

Kingston has a rich heritage and history, and included in the mix are some noteworthy landmarks.

In the first article in our new Iconic Jamaica series, Loop News will attempt to narrow down those landmarks to 25 of our choosing

Here goes!

Kingston Parish Church - constructed in 1911 on the grounds of another church structure which was destroyed in the 1907 earthquake, the Kingston Parish Church is a landmark which is an architectural masterpiece. This building is definitely one of Kingston’s great landmarks.

Port Royal - The rich history that surrounds the now sleepy fishing village of Port Royal cannot be mentioned enough. Once known as the richest and wickedest city in the world, Port Royal was once the lair of infamous pirates Henry Morgan, Blackbeard and other swashbuckling buccaneers. More than half the town was destroyed in an earthquake and even now there are underwater expeditions to unearth treasures that may have been sunken in the natural disaster.

Coronation Market is the biggest market in the English Speaking Caribbean. Located at Pechon Street in the heart of the commercial hub of downtown, Kingston, it is perhaps the single most biggest drawing card for people from all over the island. 

Ward Theatre - The Ward Theatre was a gift to the city of Kingston by Colonel Charles Ward in 1912. Its location at North Parade has been the site of a theatre since the 1770s and some of Jamaica’s most talented and famous personalities in drama have performed there.

Kingston Harbour - The seventh largest natural harbour in the world says a lot about this wonder of nature. It provides port and airport facilities and is deep enough to accommodate large vessels even close to shore.

Emancipation Park - Emancipation Park is another pride of the capital city. Complete with a running track, flora, fuana, water fountains and a dome with a full-sized performing stage among other facilities, this gem of the Liguanea Plains is definitely one of Kingston’s great landmarks which was handed over to the people in July 2002.

Kingston cemeteries - The May Pen, Calvary, Jewish and Chinese Cemeteries in Kingston are the final resting places for a great many of the countries nation builders and have earned their place on the Loop iconic landmark list.


Carib Cinema - The Carib Cinema was opened in 1938 and was the largest building of any kind in Jamaica. The cinema, now converted into a modern five-screen facility, has been a part of the landscape of Cross Roads for decades.

Tom Redcam Library - Long before there was google, the source of reference for many Jamaicans in Kingston who were conducting research was the Tom Redcam Library. Named after Jamaica’s first Poet Laureate, Thomas McDermot, this library has served the country for years and is still relevant today.

Bob Marley Museum -  The former residence of reggae king Bob Marley, this landmark is responsible for attracting the most tourists to the capital city.

Trench Town - This iconic community of western Kingston is the birthplace of reggae, responsible for producing some of Jamaica’s greatest singers, songwriters and musicians. It also attracts its fair share of tourists -  it is reportedly the most popular rental site in Kingston for Airbnb.

Independence Park - This site which houses the National Stadium, the National Arena  and other facilities was built to herald Jamaica’s independence from Britain in August, 1962. A statue of Bob Marley marks the entrance to the site.

Half Way Tree clock - The clock may not be showing the correct time now, but it has a lot more significance than just telling the time. Half Way Tree got its name because it was the halfway point for people travelling from Papine to downtown, Kingston in the colonial era. There was a large cotton tree there where travellers would rest, hence the name Half Way Tree. It has been said that the clock stands where the tree stood.

Little Theatre - This facility is also a landmark in Kingston and has hosted some of the best drama productions to have been presented in the nation's capital.

St William Grant Park - Located in the centre of downtown, Kingston, the St William Grant Park was renamed in honour of 1938 labour leader William Grant after Independence. It was previously known as Victoria Park.

National Heroes Circle - The Heroes Circle was previously a horseracing track and is still known today in some circles as ‘Race Course’. The Park has the remains of the country's finest sons and daughters and is as iconic as iconic landmarks get.

Devon House -  Built in 1881 by Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel, Devon House stands as one of Kingston City’s finest and most historic landmarks. And don’t forget the great ice cream on offer. This landmark is still a popular venue today.

Jamaica Pegasus hotel - For as long as the business community of New Kingston has been in existence, the Jamaica Pegasus has been there.

St Andrew Parish Church - This is another historic church with a rich history that must make our iconic landmark list.

(Photo: kingshouse.gov.jm)

King’s House - King’s house is the official residence of the Queen’s representative in Jamaica, the Governor General, who is now Sir Patrick Allen. Construction began on the house in 1907 and it is situated on land formerly owned by an Anglican Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Jamaica. It is a house on a large expanse of land and this venue has history.

Vale Royal - Situated in the Golden Triangle, Vale Royal is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Jamaica. The property was sold to the Jamaican government in 1928 and was first occupied by British Colonial Secretary, Sir Reginald Stubbs.

Gordon House - Named in honour of National Hero, George William Gordon, this is Jamaica’s house of legislature. Gordon House is where laws are made and must be among the capital city’s iconic landmarks.

Victoria Jubilee Hospital - The Victoria Jubilee Hospital was built in 1891 and opened to the public the following year. It is the largest maternity hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.


Jamaica House - The Jamaica House is the official office of the Prime Minister, located next door to King’s House at Hope Road. There could be no iconic list of landmarks that excludes this historic site.

Holy Trinity Cathedral - The Holy Trinity Cathedral on North Street in downtown Kingston was built in 1911 to replaced the Holy Trinity Church on the corner of Duke and Sutton streets, which was destroyed in the 1907 earthquake. 

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